TEAM OF THE WEEK: We have the 'Mini Bus'
OPINION: Ngani Laumape produced the most eye-catching performance in Round 18 of Super Rugby.
The centre scored four tries in the Hurricanes’ 42-24 victory over the Blues and he fully deserves his spot in our Team of the Week.
He is joined in our midfield with Rob Thompson from the Highlanders, while our back three consists of Israel Folau, Henry Speight and George Bridge.
Damian McKenzie is our flyhalf with Dewaldt Duvenage getting the No.9 jersey.
In the pack, Akira Ioane is our No.8 with David Pocock and Luke Jacobson on the flanks.
Rudolph Snyman and Scott Barrett are our choices for the second row. Our front row consists of Sekope Kepu, Agustin Creevy and Pierre Schoeman.
Team of the Week – Round 18:
15 – Israel Folau (Waratahs)
He was given loads of space against the Sunwolves and he made good use of it. He made a number of telling runs and scored two of his team’s 12 tries.
Bubbling under: Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes)
14 – Henry Speight (Brumbies)
His sheer power and pace came to the fore against the Chiefs. He scored a brace which kept his team in the encounter until the end.
Bubbling under: Nehe Milner-Skudder (Hurricanes)
13 – Rob Thompson (Highlanders)
He was a constant threat again with ball in hand and he had a heavy work rate on defence against the Crusaders.
Bubbling under: Lukhanyo Am (Sharks)
12 – Ngani Laumape (Hurricanes)
The “Mini Bus” shifted into an even higher gear against the Blues. He scored four tries and was virtually unstoppable at times out wide.
Bubbling under: Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs)
11 – George Bridge (Crusaders)
He has the No.11 on his back, but he pops up everywhere. He showed great awareness on attack against the Highlanders and he scored two of his team’s tries.
Bubbling under: Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs)
10 – Damian McKenzie (Chiefs)
He orchestrated his team’s victory over the Brumbies. His skills were out of this world.
Bubbling under: Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders)
9 – Dewaldt Duvenage (Stormers)
He provided his backline with quality service and he was a threat during the rare moments he ran with the ball. He was solid on defence as well.
Bubbling under: Thomas Perenara (Hurricanes)
8 – Akira Ioane (Blues)
It was another powerful display with ball in hand by the No.8. He kept the Hurricanes busy when he was in possession.
Bubbling under: Luke Whitelock (Highlanders)
7 – David Pocock (Brumbies)
He reigned supreme in the Brumbies team. He put in an enormous shift on defence against the Chiefs and he got his side over the gain line with some powerful carries.
Bubbling under: Will Miller (Waratahs)
6 – Luke Jacobson (Chiefs)
He does the ugly work well for the Chiefs and he brought great physicality to the game against the Brumbies. His work rate on attack and defence was outstanding.
Bubbling under: Pablo Matera (Jaguares)
5 – Rudolph Snyman (Bulls)
He had plenty of run-metres against the Jaguares and completed a match-high 16 tackles.
Bubbling under: Samuel Whitelock (Crusaders)
4 – Scott Barrett (Crusaders)
Another robust performance by the big man. He has developed into a key enforcer up front for the Crusaders and the All Blacks.
Bubbling under: Jed Holloway (Waratahs)
3 – Sekope Kepu (Waratahs)
He was a prominent figure in open play against the Sunwolves. His running metres was high for a prop and he put in a few big hits on defence.
Bubbling under: Taniela Tupou (Reds)
2 – Agustin Creevy (Jaguares)
He gave his all for his team once again. He carried the ball more than anyone else in the match against the Bulls and notched up a good amount of running metres again.
Bubbling under: Ricky Riccitelli (Hurricanes)
1 – Pierre Schoeman (Bulls)
He was simply outstanding in all aspects of the game. His work on defence was immense, while the Jaguares’ struggled to contain him when he had the ball.
Bubbling under: Alex Hodgman (Blues)
Our individual selections:
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 George Bridge, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Liam Messam, 7 David Pocock, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Warren Fortune XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 David Pocock, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 George Bridge, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Thomas Perenara, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 David Pocock, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Pierre Schoeman.